Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Transferring the Ribbon Image

After casing the leather panels, I transferred the appropriate size ribbon image for each bag. One of the bags is smaller requiring an image that does not take over the entire bag.
Using my swivel knife, I cut the lines of ribbon as deep as possible without going all of the way through making sure to connect the corners as smooth as possible.
Next up....the dyeing process.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Lady's Pink Ribbon Belt Bags

Earlier this year, I saw a request for items to auction off for a Cancer Survivor Walk in Boston, MA. The requester was a cancer survivor and was putting on the benefit. After a bit of discussion and messages, I decided to make a couple of belt bags designed for ladies. If some of you remember, I posted an inlay test piece on this blog some time back. That test piece was for this project. Let's get started! I took some 5/6 oz piece of leather to start these project bags. I had made some cardboard patterns for these bags, so I used them to trace out the parts on the leather using my custom awl. Next, I used my round knife and cut out the parts scratched out on the leather. Below, are the beginning parts for the smaller (brown) bag. Next step.....inlay of the ribbon.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Tooling the Frame Mat

The tooling of this project was pretty simple and didn't require too many tools. I also decided to place a simple border around the mat using a Hide crafter tool. Around the picture oval, I used a plain medium size veiner tool. After stamping the first set of veining impressions, I stamped a second set starting them in the center of the first set. I also encountered a problem with this project that I wanted to address in case some of you readers find yourself in the same position. Due to many factors, one being delay in working on my projects they tend to sit. I re-wet my leather every time I start back to working on them. With this project, I found this streak of black underneath my Crescent mat board that I used as a backing to avoid stretching during tooling. I have never encounter this particular problem before. So to deal with this issue, I mixed up a small batch of Oxalic acid mixed with water stirred it well. When the batch was mixed well, I applied it to the dried leather that had this black mark. I allowed it to settle in and dry before I applied another coat. When the second coat dried, I did something that might seem some what odd to some of you. I took my leather frame mat and placed it in the freezer overnight. Don't mind the poultry, I have two teenagers in the home. The next day, I removed the leather and allowed it to return to room temperature. After a bit, I applied another coat of the mixture to the affected area for safety sake. I allowed the application to dry completely. The black mark disappeared and the back was finished. I kept an eye on the frame mat before it was packaged and sent to the proud grand-parents in New Mexico. Such a beautiful angel is displayed in this leather mat frame project. It was definitely my pleasure making such a gift to two great friends.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Swivel Knife Cuts

After transferring the pattern lines, I took my swivel knife and cut the pattern lines. I started out with the perimeter border using a Barry King Beader blade. I used a ruler for the straight lines stopping short of the curved corners. I carefully used the beader blade to cut the corners slowly and carefully. I made sure to start with the lines and connect to the lines taking it passed the straight line cuts to blend them. I then took my swivel knife and cut the corner patterns out. Finally, I used my swivel knife to cut the oval shape where the photograph will be displayed. Then I took my beader blade followed the original cut to create the bead. I was careful to turn the leather while cutting to make sure the cut was smooth. Now we are ready to tool.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Special Frame Mat

Sorry for the short delay. Some regular business stuff has created a hectic schedule in my household. Yes, school is out and the madness has begun. During this hiatus, I have thought about this blog and my posts a lot. I have decided to change a couple of things when it comes to my posts. Basically, the biggest change will be that I will post a picture of the final project in the first post so my readers can see what I am working up to as we move along. So, here we go. Earlier this year, some very good leather friends of mine had their very first grand-daughter. In celebration of the new birth they shared this bundle of joy with all of their friends through photographs. You could read the happiness in the words expressed after the birth of the child, so I decided to make a special gift. The photograph above is the final project after the photograph was inserted and frame was added. It is my understanding that a proud grampa displays this beauty in his workshop area. As with any normal project, I started out by casing the leather with my special mixture of solution. I backed the flesh side of my leather with some shelf paper to prevent any stretching when tooling. I took my pattern previously prepared and matched it up with the leather piece. Once I secured my pattern where I wanted it placed, I took my leather weight and centered it to prevent any movement. I used my Barry King Stylus and carefully transferred all of the lines on the pattern. I used my corked back steel ruler to draw my perimeter lines. Now, we move to the swivel knife work.